United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER (1) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF
#1), (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST TO COMPEL THE LAW
LIBRARY TO MAKE COPIES AS MOOT (ECF #5), AND (3) CERTIFYING
THAT AN APPEAL COULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Brandon James Farnsworth is a state prisoner at the Gus
Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan. On March
6, 2017, Farnsworth filed a pro se civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in which he alleged
that two prison employees, Defendants S. Purdy and M. Floyd,
violated his rights under the Due Process Clause.
(See ECF #1.) Farnsworth also asked the Court in a
written letter to compel his prison law library to make
copies of his Complaint. (See ECF #5). For the
reasons stated below, the Court DISMISSES
the Complaint and DENIES Farnsworth's
letter request as moot.
alleges that on July 5, 2016, he was fired from his prison
job as a food service worker due to misconduct involving
theft. (See Compl., ECF #1 at Pg. ID 4.) In
addition, Farnsworth says that he lost three days of
privileges and that Defendants S. Purdy, a prison
classification director, and M. Floyd, a deputy warden,
placed him on unemployable status for thirty days. (See
id.) At the expiration of that thirty day period,
Farnsworth was placed on a yard crew for 120 days. (See
12, 2016, Farnsworth filed a grievance against Purdy and
Floyd related to the discipline he received. (See
id.) His grievance was ultimately denied at all three
steps of the grievance process. (See id.)
filed this action on March 6, 2017, against Purdy and Floyd
in their “official capacities.” (Id. at
Pg. ID 1-2.) He claims that Purdy and Floyd violated his
rights to life, liberty, and due process of law under the
Fourteenth Amendment. (See Id. at Pg. ID 4.)
Specifically, he insists that when Purdy and Floyd placed him
on unemployable status after he already lost three days of
privileges, he was subjected to a “double
sanction” that violated Paragraph X of Michigan
Department of Corrections Policy Directive 05.01.100.
(Id.) Farnsworth seeks $100 per day for each day
that he was placed on unemployable status and $100 per day
for each day that he spent on yard crew, for a total of $15,
000. (See Id. at Pg. ID 4- 5.) He also asks the
Court to suspend Purdy and Floyd for thirty days. (See
Id. at Pg. ID 5.)
same time Farnsworth filed his Complaint, he also filed an
application to proceed in forma pauperis in this
action. (See ECF #2.) The Court granted that
application on March 9, 2017. (See ECF #4.)
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, federal district
courts must screen an indigent prisoner's complaint and
dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim for which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and
1915A; see also Flanory v. Bonn, 604 F.3d 249, 252
(6th Cir. 2010). A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an
arguable basis in law or in fact. See Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A complaint
is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the
allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff is not
entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
199, 215 (2007).
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (footnote and
citations omitted). In other words, “a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Finally, to prevail on a
claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must prove that (1)
that he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution
or laws of the United States and (2) that the deprivation was
caused by a person acting under color of law.”
Robertson v. Lucas, 753 F.3d 606, 614 (6th Cir.
Complaint fails to state a claim and is subject to dismissal
for several reasons.
Farnsworth has failed to plausibly allege a violation of his
constitutional rights. As noted above, Farnsworth
claims that Defendants violated his Due Process rights when
they subjected him to a “double sanction” in
violation of Paragraph X of Michigan Department of
Corrections Policy Directive 05.01.100. (Compl., ECF #1
at Pg. ID 4.) However, all Farnsworth has alleged is that the
Michigan Department of Corrections (the “MDOC”)
enacted a policy and that Defendants acted contrary to that
policy. “[A]n MDOC employee's failure to follow a
Policy Directive does not, in and of itself, rise to the
level of a constitutional violation.” Spears v.
Engstrom, 2012 WL 2992603, at *2 (E.D. Mich. July 20,
2012) (citing cases); see also Smith v. Freland, 954
F.2d 343, 347-48 (6th Cir.1992) (holding that an
officer's violation of police department policies did
not, in and of itself, constitute a violation of Section
Farnsworth has not identified a sufficient liberty or
property interest that can support his Due Process claim.
Farnsworth insists that Defendants violated his liberty
interest under the Due Process Clause when they placed him on
“unemployable” status. But “prisoners do
not have a “constitutional right to prison employment
or a particular prison job.” Martin v.
O'Brien, 207 Fed. App'x 587, 590 (6th Cir.
2006); see also Williams v. Straub, 26 Fed.
App'x 389, 390-91 (6th Cir. 2001) (affirming dismissal of
prisoner's Section 1983 Due Process claim that being
placed on “unemployable status” without a hearing
violated his Due Process rights). Where, as here, a plaintiff